Aspect Ratio Documentation

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bob Furmanek, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    That does explain alot.

    Meanwhile, our friends at Hammer have announced the UK BD/DVD release of The Mummy for October, and in doing so say this:

    ...THE MUMMY has been unavailable on any Region 2 home entertainment format since 2004. The previously available DVD was authored at the incorrect aspect ratio of 1.77:1 and widely criticised by fans. The Region 1 edition, still available as an import, is also presented incorrectly at 1.77:1. This new release on Blu-ray and DVD double play presents the film in its original UK theatrical aspect ratio of 1.66:1 for the first time, as well as featuring a host of brand new extras never seen before and in high definition.

    Containing 2xDVD + 1xBlu-ray. Features include: Original UK theatrical aspect ratio: 1.66:1 (the film has never before been released at this aspect ratio);
    Alternate “full frame” aspect ratio: 1.37:1
     
  2. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    So in this case they acknowledge that the widescreen version is the OAR, and thus make it the feature presentation, leaving the open matte to the supplements.

    So why exactly are they including it?

    Well we know, don't we? The guys running Hammer today are obviously students of the "Boxy Is Beautiful" school of thinking. They simply can't get over missing out on all that extra picture (they must have been so disappointed when they realised Dracula was hard matted).

    It would have been preferable for them to have just admit this during the Frankenstein debacle, instead of trying to feed everyone bull.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I'm not entirely sure 1.66:1 *is* the principle OAR - surely we are still into 1.75:1 territory here for the UK (Bob?). And why on earth are they presenting a second version in Academy. For those that think that more picture is a better picture, I could at a pinch understand an open-matte presentation. But in Academy?

    Why?
     
  4. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    That says it all...
     
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  5. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    Me neither, but at least this time they are saying A widescreen version is OAR, and that Academy plays second fiddle to it. It was the other way around with Frankenstein.
     
  6. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Here's a better copy of the GIANT article from September 1956.

    Production began on May 19, 1955 and it was planned for 1.66 from day one.

    In fact, on July 29, 1953, George Stevens told Variety: "GIANT will be in color and widescreen."

    Giant September 1956.jpg
     
  7. Vertigo in SF

    Vertigo in SF Auditioning

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    This seemed to be the pertinent place to ask this: people always seem to be making a fuss about the aspect ratio of TOUCH OF EVIL but no one seems to discuss the ratio of the previous Welles film, MR. ARKADIN.Does anyone here know the correct projection aspect ratio for MR. ARKADIN/CONFIDENTIAL REPORT? It was a Spanish production made late '54 and released in '55. The Criterion and all other releases for that matter present in 1:33, and, for awhile, I assumed that was correct but a lot of the discoveries here make me question that assumption. I recently watched it in 1:66 and the movie seemed fine minus two shots. The credits were not cut off as well.I've asked this question elsewhere but have yet to receive a satisfactorily definitive answer regarding the ratio of the presentation. I get that Welles was working off of the studio grid but I'm not sure if it would be to such an extent that he would have his films made in a ratio that would never be honored.
     
  8. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    I checked and I do not have any aspect ratio documentation on that title.

    It looks like it was filmed in March 1954 and finished editing in September of that year.
     
  9. Vertigo in SF

    Vertigo in SF Auditioning

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    Thanks for the response Mr. Furmanek.
     
  10. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    My pleasure and I'm sorry that I couldn't be more helpful.

    If you find anything definitive on the ratio, please let us know.
     
  11. John-Weller

    John-Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob, is Night of the Hunter 1.66:1 or 1.85:1?
     
  12. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    I notice that Criterion's release of BOB LA FLAMBEUR from 1956 is 1:33, but their release of ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS from 1957 is 1:66. Bob, any information on when France went widescreen?
     
  13. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    France entered the widescreen era by the fall of 1953.

    SANGAREE was the first feature shown in Paris on a panoramic screen in September 1953.

    Sangaree France 9.25.53.jpg

    Their first widescreen feature began production in November 1953 and by early 1954, most studios/filmmakers were adopting widescreen techniques.

    Two relevant quotes from Variety:

    January 6, 1954: "a growing awareness and adaption of widescreen"

    July 28, 1954: "Widescreen is here to stay."

    France.JPG

    France4.JPG

    France 3.JPG

    John, here's info on NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

    09e878a45230bab2c25fa2af3a4a766a_3772_0.jpg
     
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  14. John-Weller

    John-Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks!
     
  15. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    While on the subject of "Sangaree" here are some press clippings and a 35mm film frame scan from the trailer.
    They had wild expectations comparing it with "Gone With The Wind"

    It was shown on the Panoramic Screen in Melbourne, Australia in September 1953. Sydney followed in November.

    sangaree2.jpg

    sangaree3.jpg

    Paravision? Not sure if I knew that one.

    sangaree 1.jpg


    Doug.
     
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  16. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    Great stuff, thanks Doug!

    Paravision was the studios trade name for 3-D. It was also used occasionally when referencing the early 1.66:1 titles.

    It's worth noting that SANGAREE began filming for 3-D on January 26, 1953 and was composed for 1.37.
     
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  17. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the typically informed response, Bob. So we can add BOB LE FLAMBEUR to the list of Criterions with the wrong aspect ratio.
     
  18. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    Being that Bob is OOP from them, don't look for a correction ;)
     
  19. Bob Furmanek

    Bob Furmanek Insider
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    You're very welcome. I would like to do more digging to say for sure, but considering the timeline it's very likely it was composed for widescreen.

    Have you tried zooming it to study camera movement?
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    It was also a DVD release from 2002. They were hardly the only ones mistaken about when widescreen was adopted in the industry back then, especially for French cinema.
     

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